“Hurt Locker” Director Bigelow Saluted by CIA, Military

Kathryn Bigelow, the first woman to win an Oscar for film direction, was honored last night by Washington’s military and intelligence establishment for her gritty films.

John R. Allen, former commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, introduced her at the Mellon Auditorium while Michael Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency praised Bigelow’s films as “highlights of American culture,” in a video message.

“The idea of social responsibility is what really moves me,” said the director of “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker.” “It’s a very galvanizing feature that I think film can possess.”

Also honored at America Abroad Media’s inaugural awards dinner was Indian actor-director Aamir Khan for his program “Truth Alone Prevails,” which reaches 800 million people and tackles some of India’s most pressing issues including sexual assault.

”We look at these topics with hope and love,” said Khan, accompanied by his director wife Kiran Rao.

A third award went to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict which was accepted by Peter Ackerman, the center’s founding chairman and managing director of Rockport Capital Inc.

Media Mission

“We wanted honorees suited to our mission,” said Aaron Lobel, who founded America Abroad Media ten years ago to produce media in the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa that would foster freedom and dialogue.

Other guests included former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, now chairman of security consultancy Chertoff Group, and James Glassman, former undersecretary of state and chairman of bipartisan communications firm Public Affairs Engagement.

Before the three-course dinner, Ackerman’s daughter, Xanthe, an associate director at the Brookings Institution, huddled with John Whitehead, a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and chairman emeritus at Brookings, who co-chaired the evening.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Jeffrey Burke on books and Greg Evans on television.